Akira Kurosawa: The Last Emperor (Independent Film Channel, 8-8:45 p.m.): Kurosawa was the uncontested master of Japanese cinema. He learned from American films, and filmmakers around the world learned from him. This absorbing documentary offers insights into his life and career through interviews with directors Francis Ford Coppola and Bernardo Bertolucci, and Kurosawa's daughter.
Super Bowl XXXIV (ABC, 6:15 p.m.): Nobody saw this coming: the St. Louis Rams and the Tennessee Titans in the Super Bowl? If they play like they did for much of the season, then the dotcom commercials won't upstage the game, America's greatest annual sporting spectacle.
Children in War (HBO, 10-11:50 p.m.): Disturbing images and heart-wrenching stories capture the impact of war and terrorism, as seen through the eyes of its most innocent victims: children. Filmed between 1995 and 1996 during conflicts in Bosnia, Israel, Rwanda, and Northern Ireland, the powerful and compassionate report goes straight to the children and asks them what wars have meant to them. Lots of Kleenex moments.
Intimate Portrait: Florence Griffith Joyner (Lifetime, 7-8 p.m.): The great Flo-Jo, winner of three gold medals at the Seoul Olympics, ran like a champion, but cultivated a feminine persona. This engaging documentary takes us through her life as an athlete and as a woman including interviews with her husband, Al Joyner, teachers, and friends.
PICK OF THE WEEK
Super Bowl XXXIV
Sunday, Jan. 30
(ABC, 6:15 p.m.)
NOVA - Secrets of Lost Empires (PBS, check local listings): This five-part series explores history's "engineering miracles" - a fearsome medieval catapult, a massive stone obelisk, the mystery of 900 gigantic stones on Easter Island, and the fabled Rainbow Bridge of China's Song Dynasty, nearly 1,000 years ago. Tune in to watch modern-day warriors and engineers test their design savvy as they recreate lost marvels of another day.
Sidney Poitier: One Bright Light (PBS, check local listings): Actress and documentarian Lee Grant chronicles Poitier's career in this American Masters special. THURSDAY 2/3
Friends (NBC, 8-8:30 p.m.): Actress Reese Witherspoon ("Election") switches gears from movies to TV in this two-part episode. She guest stars as Rachel's (Jennifer Aniston) spoiled kid sister who shows up unannounced after being cut off by their wealthy father.
Belfast, Maine (PBS, check local listings): Of all Frederick Wiseman's movies, none is more probing or intelligent than this new four-hour-plus film that ranks with his greatest work .
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